ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

4 Characteristics of Being in the Zone

Updated on August 16, 2009

The Zone


You know you are in the zone when you exhibit the following characteristics: You have total focus. Your performance is effortless. You are in synch within yourself, and you display total dominance in whatever you are pursuing. Let us take a brief look at these four characteristics.

Being in the zone means having total focus. In other words, you have absolute concentration and single-mindedness of purpose to the point that you are oblivious to your immediate environment. Nothing else matters to you but the matter at hand. Let me give you two examples: In my younger years-my college years-I used to walk down the street reading a book. I was so caught up with what I was reading that I would be unaware that I had stepped off the sidewalk into the street. Lucky for me, I stopped doing that or I would not be around to tell you this story. The other example is that of Socrates, the wisest man of his time. The story is told that he would be walking with friends having a good-natured conversation when suddenly he would stop and ponder some of the give-and-take that he and his friends were discussing. He would stand there thinking there in one spot unmindful that his friends had long gone off and left him. Mind you, he would stand there in that same spot all night long until dawn the next morning. Now that is what I call total self-absorption, which, again, is one of the traits of being in the zone.

Being in the zone also means that your performance becomes effortless. In other words, you don't try to force your way through something. On the contrary, you relax and let the game come to you and not you to the game. That means that you perform without taxing yourself mentally, physically, or psychologically. On the mental level, your mind is not a busy body that is overly critical or that is burdened with minute detail. Nor on the physical level are you trying too hard to do that which you are engaged in, for instance, trying very hard to hit a home run, trying to hard to go for the knockout, or working too hard to solve a problem that you just cannot resolve at the moment. Last, on the psychological level, you are not so frustrated with yourself that tension and poor performance can be your only results. To the opposed: When you are in the zone, you are in a state of relaxation from which things come about effortlessly, and hence, easily. The harder you try, the less your results. The less you try, the greater your results. A case in point: When I am forcing myself-through pure will power-to run faster, it comes with a lot of effort and I tire rather quickly. On the other hand, when I am running in the zone, it is like I am on cloud nine, running very fast, yet not feeling the least bit of exertion or tiredness.

Being in the zone means too that you are in synch with yourself: All of your parts are working together like one perfect unit or well oiled machine-your breathing, your legs, your arms, and your psychology. Your performance is optimal. Your timing (tempo) is perfect and harmonious. You are neither too slow nor too fast. Your timing is just right so that you don't have to exert effort to perform. You are in rhythm with yourself. You are in perfect alignment with the flow of energy within you. An example of that-and I again instance a case of my running-is when my entire body is like one team on the same page. All parts of my body are working together in perfect harmony like a clock.

Finally, being in the zone means that you are in a state of dominance. That is to say that the odds are in your favor. On that particular day, at that particular moment, you are both unbeatable and unstoppable! Often you will hear a sports announcer say of an athlete that "he is going on a tear" or that "he is unconscious". When that happens, things come easily and amazing things happen. Instances of that are basketball players who just cannot miss the basket. Everything is going their way. They can't be prevented from going to the hole.

In this article, I laid out for you four of the characteristics of being in the zone. Again, they are total concentration, effortlessness, harmony, and total dominance.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • watergeek profile image


      6 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Michael Jordan, Kobe - yes, I see it. Outside of sports "dominance" might be replaced with "mastery," but the way you describe it, it's the same thing. There is a psychological discipline studying that condition now, applying it to everyday life, not just sports. It's called the Psychology of Flow. I just wrote a hub on it, before discovering yours here. Nice job.

    • hubby7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you the kind remarks, Misstikal1.

    • hubby7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for the nice comment,Zhang.

    • hubby7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Chicago

      Thank very much.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This makes sooo much sense, that i have adopted it to my diet. And guess what? IT WORKS!!! Thanks for explaining it all.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      being with yourself and dominate your own thoughts, yes, good advice hubby, BTW, thanks for your comment on my hub about POE, HE is my great poet, Maita

    • Hongliang Zhang profile image

      Hongliang Zhang 

      8 years ago from China

      Write wonderful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)